Green’s Improved Defense Has Charleston In 3A State Championship

CHARLESTON (KFSM)--There's a slew of reasons why the Lady Tigers are in the 3A state title game. Alli Green's three point shooting is among the biggest. But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the junior, who was home schooled until last season.

"I was not a good defender when I came to Charleston and [Coach Jason Rucker] has really showed me how to play defense, put your hands up," Green said.

"The first year she came she was probably nervous and timid but she's gotten more aggressive and we push each other all the time," senior Hattie Newhart said.

That's the biggest change that Green made between her sophomore and junior seasons.

"I play pretty good defense I think. Had to guard Hattie all offseason so that has really elevated my defense cause she's such an amazing player," said Green.

"You know that's a test every day cause the other teams struggle to guard Hattie," Rucker added. "But one thing about Alli is she accepted the challenge of being our defensive stopper this year."

"Defense is really something I work hard every single time I'm on the court to be a good defender and I really take a lot of pride in stopping," Green said.

The fact that one of the Lady Tigers' top three point shooters is focused more on defense is a great snapshot into Charleston's success.

"This team is special cause they just play for each other and not for themselves. Not one person is worried about their stats and so it just makes it special to have a team that's just about each other," Rucker said.

Charleston's first and only state championship came in 2009. Now Green has the Lady Tigers in position to make history nine years later.

"Her attitude and her leadership is off the charts," Rucker said. "I mean the teammates just gravitate to her cause she's always in a good mood. She's always bouncing around with energy."

Charleston (23-8) faces Mountain View (29-2) at 4:15 p.m. on Friday in Hot Springs for the 3A state title.